HFD offers safety tips at summer reading program

A Helena Fire Explorer dresses up in a complete fire suit to show kids attending the summer reading program what it’s like to be in full uniform. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

A Helena Fire Explorer dresses up in a complete fire suit to show kids attending the summer reading program what it’s like to be in full uniform. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Young Helena kids and students got a lesson in safety on Wednesday, June 17, at Helena City Hall as members of the Helena Fire Department made a visit as part of the Helena Library Summer Reading Program.

Helena Fire Department Lt. Heath Bartlett and members of the Helena Fire Explorers began the program by asking the kids questions about how they should respond during an emergency situation.

Some of the topics discussed included what to do if your clothes are on fire. Should you place a radio next to the bathtub? How should you leave a room if it is filled with smoke and the alarm is going off?

The fire department also brought a model of a house that was interactive and would beep in a bedroom mimicking a smoke alarm, make a buzz if a electronic device fell in the tub and more.

The kids were especiallly interested in the fire suit and equipment the firefighters have to wear. One of the fire explorers put on his full gear and demonstrated what it was like to have everything on. Numerous kids came up to feel the suit and ask questions, such as “Is the air tank heavy?”

Another fun part of the visit was when the kids got to view the fire truck.

Bartlett pulled out different equipment such as the Jaws of Life, which is used to tear through metal to get to victims trapped in a car and explained what the different tools were used for.

Many kids were surprised to learn that the fire truck holds 750 gallons of water and many were curious about all the buttons and equipment on the truck.

Bartlett made sure to let the kids know that being a firefighter is a dangerous job but also very rewarding at the same time.

“Being a firefighter is one of the most dangerous jobs someone can do, but firefighters are here to help people,” said Bartlett.